Feb 29, 2012
The food stamp program, part of the Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of food stamps ever.
Meanwhile, the Park Service, also part of the Department of Agriculture, asks us to “Please Do Not Feed the Animals” because the animals may grow dependent and not learn to take care of themselves.
Feb 29, 2012
Feb. 28, 2012
Published Siskiyou Daily News
Good to finally see some snow, here in Callahan, although the flakes are pretty tiny and it barely covers the ground. Newspapers are reporting the low amount of snow and moisture this year throughout the state. Sure do hope we get a “Miracle March.”
What a great turn-out for the Support Rural America Sheriffs’ Event. The Flower building was full at the fairgrounds. Sheriff’s Posse members helped Scott Valley POW with set up and take down afterwards. Donna Bacigalupi had husband, Jerry, packing five-gallon jugs of water to make coffee for the Republican Women; and the Siskiyou Water Users Assoc. set up a table and sold water. Thanks to the Redding and Yreka Tea Party for sending folks to help as well and for donating the premium for the insurance and 400 copies of the program. It will be difficult to remember everyone who helped with the Event, without leaving someone out. Just know you are appreciated.
Siskiyou Sheriff Jon Lopey started his day literally “jumping in the lake” amid fluttering snowflakes, with his deputies on a fundraising Polar Bear Plunge. I mentioned this to our audience and Sheriff Lopey said it was a different sort of experience for him as he tends to jump into “hot” water most of the time.
As each of the sheriffs spoke for 15 miniutes or so, they lightened the mood with funny experiences. Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood can keep a straight-face through anything and had the crowd rolling in laughter several times as did the other sheriffs.
Sheriff Hagwood said he was surprised when an L.A. Times article mentioned Plumas County. The article explained how few Concealed Weapon Permits there were in an L.A. area county and a county in the San Francisco area boasted zero. It stated that this situation was different in Plumas County, where the stats showed there is one Concealed Weapon Permit for every 39 residents. Sheriff Hagwood then added, “and we don’t seem to be suffering the ills” found in those counties with fewer-per-capita CWPs.
But wait, Modoc County Sheriff Mike Poindexter nearly argued that there is an even higher rate of Concealed Weapon Permits in his county.
For those who do not understand how Concealed Weapon Permits work, it is your county sheriff who issues one. In Siskiyou County, it is issued for two years. The individual desiring the Permit must take an eight-hour gun safety course and the instructor will give you a certificate and also approve you are competent, mentally and physically, to carry a gun.
To those who would question the need for Concealed Weapon Permit, I first state that it is a right under the Constitution. Secondly, the Permit does not allow you to kill anyone. It just gives you a way to protect yourself. In the U.S. of A. we still have the right to protect ourselves.
Trinity County Sheriff Bruce Haney explained the problems from Governor Jerry Brown’s release program of 1,000s of inmates from the State Prison system. His county jail is full and the other sheriffs said theirs are too. All have put in for funds to increase the size of their jail. But that will not eliminate the problem. More crimes are being committed by recently-released prisoners. All the sheriffs are concerned about their publics’ safety and are facing a huge dilemma.
Del Norte County Sheriff Dean Wilson is frustrated with several state and federal agencies that are inhibiting his citizens to use their property and their right to work. “The Constitution was written to protect the people from the government,” said Sheriff Wilson.
I’ll have photos and more statements up on Pie N Politics.com this week. Oh, we also connected with Loma Wharton, Rae Copitka and The Liberators11.org, who organized the Constitutional Convention for AZ. Sheriff Richard Mack last month. They drove down from Roseburg, OR to attend.
In other, but related news, a huge story broke this weekend involving conspiracy and science data tampering: Ron LeValley of a North Coast Marine Science Team was arrested Feb. 23, as one of three conspirators in an elaborate three-year scam involving the theft of close to a million dollars from the Northern California Yurok Tribe.
Del Norte County District Attorney Jon Alexander alleges that LeValley and others conspired to falsify invoices for spotted owl research and embezzle funds for their personal use. Pretty eye-opening stuff.
Also at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting, Mike Adams explained the dire situation from the state Dept. of Fish and Game’s new regulations for suction dredging permits. While permits will be issued this year, the number are reduced by half from two years ago and areas where dredging is allowed is also greatly reduced. And we only have until March 5th to write letters of concern to DFG. Check out Pie N Politics.com “hot issues” tab at the top.
Liz Bowen writes biographies, freelance articles and comments on radio shows. Contact her at 530-467-3515.
Feb 29, 2012
PNP comment: These questions should be thoroughly answered by NOAA. These government agencies have a difficult time following their own regulations, but threaten the citizen and landowner for failing to adhere to their rules. — Editor Liz Bowen
I noticed one of the projects is to put large woody debris into streams. This is common practice in Oregon and Washington by NMFS. My question to them is, who is liable for the damage to infrastructure such as bridges and diversion intakes that is caused by dislodged logs during high flows that they create?
Also isn’t this activity prohibited in these so-called navigable waters?
Feb 28, 2012
High court overturns Montana Supreme Court ruling that power company owes state rent.
Compiled by staff
Published: Feb 24, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case PPL vs. Montana that the waterfalls of the Missouri River near Great Falls, Mont., are not navigable and therefore power company PPL does not owe the state rent and the state cannot claim ownership of the riverbed. By law states hold title to riverbeds only if the rivers are navigable.
“Farmers and ranchers prevailed this week when the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of landowner property rights in the case of PPL v. Montana,” said American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman. “This decision puts ownership of streambeds and stream banks in the hands of their rightful owners.”
The American Farm Bureau Federation filed a friend-of-the-court brief along with the Montana Farm Bureau in the case. Colorado Farm Bureau and Utah Farm Bureau also filed briefs in the case in support of the petitioning landowners.
Despite the ruling in favor of PPL, Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock still has plans to attempt collecting rent from PPL, who has dams on the Missouri, Madison, and Clark Fork rivers.
The Supreme Court did hand the case back to state courts for other disputed stretches of river, encouraging them to use the guidance of the federal court’s decision. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that there is a significant likelihood that some of the other river stretches will fail this navigability test.
According to University of Montana School of Law associate professor Kristen Juras this decision is very important not only for PPL bur also for any landowners with property abutting rivers. She says the broader you describe navigability the less property rights riparian landowners have.
“I think it’s an important decision really for all Montanans who enjoy or use the rivers for their businesses,” PPL spokesman David Hoffman said.
PPL had argued that charging the power company rent would lead to the state charging irrigators and agricultural uses near rivers, which state officials had said wouldn’t happen.
“This decision also helps ensure that farmers and ranchers will not have to pay government for the use of land or water from streambeds that run alongside or through their property,” Stallman said. “This week’s decision is a win for Farm Bureau members, farmers and ranchers nationwide and all private property owners.”
Feb 28, 2012
Letter from Yurok Tribe says it’s outraged by alleged embezzlement; will add additional positions to oversee finances
February 28, 2012
Members of the Yurok Tribal Council have expressed “great disappointment and outrage” that more than $900,000 was allegedly embezzled from the tribe by a former tribal employee and two conspirators.
Former Yurok Tribe Forestry Director Roland Raymond, 49, has been wanted since last Thursday on a $1 million warrant issued by Del Norte County Superior Court Judge William Follett, according to the Del Norte County District Attorney’s Office.
Raymond is wanted on suspicion of burglary, embezzlement and conspiracy to commit a crime. Law enforcement officials said he was still at large on Monday.
A letter recently mailed out by Yurok Tribe Chairman Thomas O’Rourke Sr. on behalf of the Yurok Tribal Council alerts tribal members to the alleged embezzlement and promises more information will be forthcoming as it becomes available.
”The Tribal Council understands the outrage that we all may feel as the victims of these alleged crimes. The tribe will provide more information shortly and will continue to ensure that these alleged crimes are subject to the fullest prosecution under the law,” the letter states.
An affidavit in support of search and arrest warrants obtained Friday by the Times-Standard details how Raymond supposedly worked with two biologists to falsify invoices related to spotted owl research on tribal lands.
Mad River Biologists’ senior biologist Ron LeValley, 65, and associate biologist Sean McAllister, 45, were arrested last week on $1 million warrants for their alleged connections to the theft.
Del Norte County District Attorney Jon Alexander said LeValley’s bail was maintained at $1 million and McAllister’s was lowered to $50,000 during a court hearing on Monday. Alexander said their arraignments were continued to Thursday, when LeValley’s bail is expected to be reconsidered.
The tribe’s letter states the funding for the biologists’ research came from the federal government — a fact Alexander has said is of great interest to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
”The original source of funding was Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs funds for Endangered Species Act surveys and other forestry activities,” the letter states.
The letter and affidavit state Raymond also allegedly misused tribal credit cards, falsified purchase order requests for equipment and inflated his mileage reimbursement requests. A number of items were apparently bought and disguised as work-related, including Apple iPads, vehicle accessories and vehicle maintenance. The affidavit states the tribe took its evidence against Raymond to the Del Norte County District Attorney’s Office.
Raymond worked as the tribe’s forestry director from 1994 to October 2011, with the spotted owl survey embezzlements allegedly taking place from 2008 to 2010. The tribe’s letter states it knows its membership will have many questions about the case, such as how the thefts took place and how it lasted for so long.
”The alleged activities were in part difficult to uncover because Mr. Raymond, as director of a tribal program, occupied a position of trust within the tribal structure. He had the ability to approve various purchases and invoices for contract services,” the letter states.
In response to the investigation, the tribe is creating additional financial safeguards. The letter states the tribe will hire additional employees in order to have more oversight.
A controller/auditor-general will be hired to examine the tribe’s accounts, records and transactions. An accounting fraud examiner will also be hired to investigate irregularities or suspicious procurement documents. The letter states the tribe plans to obtain an independent review of its fiscal procedures.
An internal investigation is ongoing, and the letter states the announcement about Raymond’s alleged activities comes “with great disappointment and outrage.”
”The Tribal Council wants to be clear that it is committed to ensure that any illegal activities will be subject to the fullest prosecution under the law,” the letter states.
The Yurok Tribe was expected to issue a formal statement to the general public about the case Monday. No statement was received by the Times-Standard by deadline.
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